Why did Elijah have to pray seven times?

Here is the statement you were looking for.

The servant watched while Elijah prayed. Six times he returned from the watch, saying, There is nothing, no cloud, no sign of rain. But the prophet did not give up in discouragement. He kept reviewing his life, to see where he had failed to honor God, he confessed his sins, and thus continued to afflict his soul before God, while watching for a token that his prayer was answered. As he searched his heart, he seemed to be less and less, both in his own estimation and in the sight of God. It seemed to him that he was nothing, and that God was everything; and when he reached the point of renouncing self, while he clung to the Saviour as his only strength and righteousness, the answer came. The servant appeared, and said, “Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand” (Review and Herald, May 26, 1891; The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, 2:1035).

The statement also appears in a couple of devotional books: Our Father Cares, page 100, and Our High Calling, page 133. It was included as well in the compilation Prayer, page 140.

Yes, yes, and yes! That is the one I have tried to find for so many years. I love that part about Elijah searching his heart because that’s where I am at right now. If Elijah, the prophet of God needed to search his heart and afflict his soul and review his life, how much more do I need to do that also! Jesus is coming soon!